Tuesday last, God’s invitation came strong once again during the time with His Word to keep on praising him during the day: “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1ff). This, of course, is what all God’s people must do all the time. We must also invite others to see the beauty of God’s greatness and glory so that they too can worship Him. So, I resolved to make a conscious choice do just that through the day.
Before our usual morning chores were done, Jessy developed some discomfort in her tummy. We hardly had time to wonder what it might be, she was in acute pain radiating to her loins and down to the legs. Rushed to the Emergency at Baptist Hospital, and after several tests, Jessy still groaning in continuous pain, doctors finally figured out that she could be suffering from kidney stones. Medicines were administered to bring the pain down without much help. Late afternoon, we were sent home with the advice to follow up with a CT-KUB scan at a convenient time to assess the exact size and location of the stones and do the necessary procedures to remove them.
In the middle of all the anxiety and running about at the hospital, you can imagine that God’s praises was not “continually” in my mouth. However, I was not left without a reminder. God’s Spirit repeatedly brought the verse to me during the hours at the hospital. I struggled to focus on the Lord, on His greatness and goodness, to be able to praise him in the middle of confusion. As much as I took time to do that it had a transforming power–it made me encouraged, comforted and strengthened for the task at hand.
Praise Me, “at all times” God demands!
“…Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 5:20).
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess 5:18).
“From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long. (Psa 71:6, 8).
“I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever” (Psalm 145:1).
Often in life praising God is most strategic in dire circumstances not when all is going well. Instead of looking at the perplexing, confusing, confounding, painful, heart-wrentching, and hopeless circumstances believers strain to put their focus (hope) in the Lord who is worthy of all praises. This is because, God is above all circumstances. God’s people who are going to spend all our eternity praising God can begin the practice here on earth. For all the troubles going on earth in the Book of Revelation, we see God enthroned being continuously praised by all.
Perhaps, what is meant by continuous praise is not that we should be locked up in our rooms continuously praising, or be chanting his praises uninterrupted during the activities of the day, but calling to mind sufficiently enough that we are in the good hands of the Lord, and despite the darkness shrouding over certain experiences to maintain the assurance that we will “praise Him yet again” (see Psal 142:5b, 11b; 43:5b).
Post Script: Even though we came home with the assurance that the pain will subside, Jessy could not bear the lingering pain, and the doctor advised us to get admitted in the night. We packed up, and with our kids sat to pray before we left to the hospital. Something strange happened before we began our family prayer. The pain was gone! Instantly. We ended staying home and Jessy slept well. Throughout the next day, and more tests in the hospital, and until the surgery completed on Thursday afternoon, the pain never came back. Yes, Praise be to Our God!